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of climb speed), then climb to 1,000 feet and return to the airfield. With landing light on, at 400 feet I would suddenly put him inadvertently into a solid overcast, with the landing light reflecting back from the cloud. It was very realistic.


I was looking for the pilot to level the wings, keep the aircraft under control, then give a call to air traffic for radar handling and approach vectors, preferably an ILS. I did not want the pilot to suddenly descend for visual meteorological conditions (VMC) or try to do a 180-degree turn, which can be fatal at low altitude


Many flight operators do not have the luxury of an autopilot, or even a second pilot like we had at Abu Dhabi Aviation. Nor do they


have the budget to afford to train in a flight simulator. What you most assuredly must have in your personal arsenal to keep you alive is a plan if you inadvertently go IMC.


The first line of defense of course is to stay situationally aware of the weather so you won’t get caught out. Your second line of defense is to have a mental plan of action.


I suggest you practice LOFT training, either in the sim or in the aircraft, because it’ll cause you to be better prepared if you experience IIMC. Hopefully, you won’t do an accidental loop like we did, which can be quite terrifying … even in the simulator.


Randy


Mains is an author,


public speaker, and an AMRM consultant who works in the helicopter industry after a long career of aviation adventure. He currently serves as chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero.


He may be contacted at: info@randymains.com


rotorcraftpro.com


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